Confession: We're not big fans of winter here at The Stylish Kind HQ. We are creatures of the sun. We prefer for shoes to be optional. When these criteria are not met, we tend to become grumpy and/or whiney -- and February can be the most challenging month of all. The holidays are over. It seems like it has been cold and dreary forever, yet spring is still so far off. And it doesn’t help that our skin and hair can become mega-dry and our fashion choices are limited to what keeps us from freezing.
But this year, we are staying proactive and positive, taking a solutions-based approach. To that end, we reached out to some of our favorite cruelty-free beauty, fashion, food, and health gurus. Scroll down for their best advice on how to stave off everything from dull hair to the sniffles this winter.
Spring can’t come soon enough, but until then, try these fabulous fixes.
1. Parched Skin
"I’m 49, my skin is changing as I get older. To compound things, I now live in a dry Colorado climate at 6,200 feet! In the winter I take real care in moisturizing, and my tip is simple: I use the amazing, vegan Ellovi Body Butter… in the shower! After I wash up, still under running water, I slather on the yummy butter and then lightly pat my skin dry with a towel. My skin stays moist and smooth during the Colorado winter."
-- JL Fields, vegan lifestyle coach and founder, JL Goes Vegan
2. Help-Me Hair
"I love this hair mask because it leaves my hair super smooth and manageable, which is key in these harsh wintery months. The avocado and coconut oil contain healthy fats and natural oils, which are mega moisturizing, and bananas are loaded with potassium, which can help strengthen hair and minimize breakage."
- 1 large mashed banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- Blend the ingredients in a food processor
- Apply to clean hair
- Leave hair mask on for 25-20 mins
- Rinse thoroughly
-- Sunny Subramanian, founder, Vegan Beauty Review
3. Sniffles, Colds, and Other Yuckies
"We have a juice here called the "Yellow Cold Ninja," which has carrot, orange, celery, lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and cinnamon. All those spices are amazing for colds, and are great for when you feel one coming on. Also, when I start feeling under the weather, I make myself a shot of lemon juice, throwing in a big knob of finely chopped ginger, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and as much cayenne as I can handle at the time. I chug that, and it usually works like a charm!"
-- Julia Kravets, owner, Little Choc Apothecary
4. The Style Dilemma
"Many people think that finding leather-free shoes is the trickiest part of dressing as a vegan. That's not quite right: there are tons of compassionate and stylish shoe brands out there. What's much more difficult is finding a chic, well-fitting and eco-friendly vegan coat. I live in London, which isn't exactly a tropical beach -- temperatures tend to fall quite low in the winter months. This year, with our The Fakeover campaign at Vilda, I have discovered faux fur -- some great brands are Unreal Fur, Shrimps and Ainea. I also love Vaute Couture -- a stylish, conscious and compassionate NYC brand focusing on vegan coats. My top tip for when it gets cold? Wear two pairs of tights instead of one. Not only does it keep you warm, but it eliminates that sheer effect and adds a chic matte finish. Also, another winter must-have is a snood scarf. Miakoda New York has a few really nice, vegan and eco ones."
-- Sascha Camilli, founder and editor, Vilda Magazine
5. The Sads
“For ladies, like myself, who get the winter blues, I recommend staying active and eating plenty of raw greens. First off, I hate leaving the house in the wintertime in NYC. That's why I'm currently traveling until springtime. But if you can't take refuge in a warmer climate, I recommend working out at home. I have a mini-trampline (a rebounder) that fits perfectly into my little closet. Jumping on that while watching a TV show or listening to a podcast is a great way to get my blood flowing when I don't leave the house. Another really terrific way to get your heart rate up, challenge your strength, and have a lot of fun, is by doing free workout videos on Youtube. I swear by FitnessBlender's videos. They're produced simply (so no annoying music or bells and whistles), and there are videos for any fitness level or desired outcome. Plus, they're free! When you have free workouts that you can do in less than an hour at home, there is really no excuse not to stay active in the winter. It greatly decreases my winter blues.
Secondly I recommend eating lots of raw greens. They provide our bodies with lots of essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and fiber). Plus the fiber they contain acts as a very effective intestinal broom and promote healthy digestion and regularity, two things that are crucial for fighting the blues and keeping colds/flu at bay. Most of know how terrible you feel when you're tummy isn't on your side, or things are backed up.
For those of us who don't like to eat salads in the cold months, I recommend using raw greens (baby kale, arugula, and spinach are my favorites) as the base of the meal. I add legumes, roast veggies, herbs, spices, sauces/dressings, grains, seeds and nuts to complete the meal. This is a great way to 'sneak' raw greens into your winter craves (think roast veggies)."
-- Jenné Claiborne, holistic health counselor, personal chef, owner, The Nourishing Vegan
**[Editor’s Note: If you think you might actually have SAD instead of the basic winter blues, consider consulting a mental health professional.]**